Cincinnati Zoo’s premature baby hippo Fiona gets lifesaving IV

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CINCINNATI  — The Cincinnati Zoo says its premature baby hippo is recovering from dehydration with the help of staff from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The zoo said Monday that the 4-week-old female hippo, named Fiona, had received fluids through an IV catheter since Friday.

Veterinary staff had trouble arranging a sustained IV, so they sought help from reached out to the Cincinnati Children’s nationally-renowned Vascular Access Team (VAT). The zoo says that team used ultrasound equipment to help place a lifesaving IV catheter in Fiona’s leg.

Fiona is the first Nile hippo born at the zoo in 75 years. She was born Jan. 24 at 29 pounds, well below the usual. She’s nearing 50 pounds now.

Zoo staffers have monitored her around-the-clock, providing bottle and tube feedings and activities to help her grow and get stronger.